Starting as a new healthcare CIO, you quickly need to get beyond the optimistic view of your new information technology domain gleaned during your interview process. Wise CIOs take a page from corporate and national leaders and arrive on day one with a plan for how to reach day 100 with a deep awareness of the IT organization you manage, a solid plan with broad acceptance to achieve the corporate strategic goals, and some quick wins already delivered to your stakeholders.
Why 100 Days?
Three months is generally regarded as a reasonable “honeymoon” period for a senior executive to absorb their new organizational environment and be ready to deliver results. The additional ten days provides a measure of extra time to secure buy-in from your stakeholders and communicate your plans broadly to the organization.
How Should You Organize This 100-day Orientation to the New Job?
- Devote time and attention to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your IT organization. Document current state and incorporate the subjective impressions of your employees and your superiors.
- There will be urgent and highly visible issues that require action within a critically short timeline. Determine what you can postpone for deeper analysis and identify actions that can quickly resolve users’ pain points in less than 100 days.
- Build your initial IT strategic plan to address the gaps between the current state of IT and a desired future state vision driven by the needs and strategic goals of your organization. Develop alternative approaches to achieve this vision including clear costs and benefits, communicated effectively to the management team.
First 30 Days: Face-to-Face Engagement is the Key Activity in This Timeframe
- Meet with key members of (non-IT) management. Start with senior executives and medical staff leadership. Ensure that you understand their role in the organization, how they interact with IT, what some of their recent requests have been to IT and how these have been resolved. How can IT help them achieve their strategic vision? What would they consider their most urgent or repetitive IT needs? Prepare questions that are tuned to the individual’s role but also listen to what they want to share. Find out which people in their line of report you should follow-up with.
- Meet with IT staff, beginning with managers and supervisors. In addition to your regular management and section meetings, meet one-on-one. Seek out issues they wrestle with, whether it involves systems, processes, or people. Review recent performance evaluations, specifically if any behavior or skill gaps are not being properly documented.
- Become familiar with the organization’s strategic and tactical plans currently in place. Evaluate plans that exist in terms of concurrence with overall organizational goals.
60 Days: Assess Your Systems and Infrastructure Environment While Continuing to Fill in Information About Staff and Shareholder Needs
- Perform or engage a complete technology assessment
- Network infrastructure, databases, workstations, data center capacity, etc
- Evaluate service delivery levels
- Help desk performance, systems reliability, implementation history, service level agreement review, etc
- Review budgets (planned vs. actual performance)
- Develop fast action plans for the urgent, simple issues and begin implementation
90 Days: Transition From SWOT Assessment to Tactical Plan Development
- Test your perceptions of enterprise SWOT findings with other senior managers
- Draw up a desired state of IT to meet the enterprise’s current and anticipated needs
- Prepare a comprehensive gap analysis between the desired state and the current IT assessment
- Prepare alternatives to address the gaps utilizing peer group, department staff, and expert input. Develop implementation detail around these alternatives
- Review a draft of the gap summary and tactical plans with senior management including budget costs, KPIs, and benefits expected
- Review execution of the fast action projects (be sure they are on-track for completion and user goals are being met)
Final 10 Days: Polishing the IT Strategic Plan and Communication
- Develop an executive summary, describe the evaluation and planning process
- Define an IT architecture blueprint with guiding principles for future decisions
- Present tactical alternatives with narrative of the pros/cons of each item in terms of cost, time, and impact on business strategy
- Describe implementation requirements, including the timeline to accomplish the alternative recommendations
- Propose realignment of staff to accomplish tasks and define when these changes would need to occur
- Detail changes to service levels and service delivery
Congratulations! You have arrived at day 100 with your research completed and the tools in hand to be successful in your first year as a new CIO. Now it is time to execute on the IT strategic plan, deploy and motivate IT staff to meet your goals, and monitor progress on meeting your users’ needs.